It’s always easier for folks to prove themselves right than to change their minds. Always easier to make a mess than to clean one up. That’s the pessimists’ advantage historically. Nowhere in modern history has this been as true as in the Holy Land. On May 4, I outlined a plausible battle plan for peace focused on this September when the 66th UN General Assembly will vote to recognize Palestine. Now, let’s consider the probable obstacles and outcomes.
The biggest single obstacle is that the Israelis and the Palestinians both have very bad friends in their respective corners egging them on, validating their worst narcissistic fairy tales about themselves and the other. The Israelis have fundamentalist Christians and Jews. The Palestinians have the fundamentalist Muslims, both Shia and Sunni. Each has their competing apocalyptic visions for which the conflict in the Holy Land is center stage. For the Muslims, especially the Shia in Iran and Hezbollah’s Lebanon, the Palestinians represent the righteous dispossessed, whose legitimate claims are opposed by the unrighteous possessors, the infidels backed by the Sunni elites in the Islamic world. Both Sunni and Shia compete on the Arab street for the title “True Defender of the Faith.” For the Christian and Jewish fundamentalists, Israelis represent the “righteous elect” who are the possessors because of their virtue; their faith and hard work blessed by God almighty. As ever, the elect are beset on all sides by the covetous rabble. As if these dark angels weren’t enough, both sides also have secular bad friends to boot.
Credit: Creative Commons/R!E.
The 66th session of the UN General Assembly opens at 3 PM, September 13th, in New York City. According to my sources, the session will vote to recognize an independent Palestine based on 1967 borders on September 22, 2011, eleven days after the 10th anniversary of 9/11. What follows is a plausible battle plan for peace.
The following day, 9/23/11, is Friday. After prayers, massive peaceful demonstrations will be held in all the major Islamic capitals in the world, calling on Israel and the US to recognize the new Palestinian state. Candlelight vigils will be held at Israeli embassies and consulates around the globe with the same goal. In Jerusalem, huge crowds will march on the checkpoints leading into Jerusalem from both sides of the Green Line for a carefully planned exercise in civil disobedience with the eventual objective of opening the checkpoints. The marches will be led by women and children bearing bouquets of red and white roses which will be inserted into the muzzles of the Israeli M-16s. The marchers will then retreat.
April 5, 2010: I have replaced the original post with this shorter version.
In every generation, we read on Pesach, they rise up to oppress us. This year we must face down our most implacable foe, the one who has dogged our every footstep since Israel bargained for the birthright and got for himself and his progeny so much more than he bargained for. Members of the tribe, in the immortal words of Pogo, we have met the enemy and he is us. For this self-knowledge we can thank the approval of 1600 new housing units in East Jerusalem when Joe Biden arrived in Israel. By publicly slapping Israel’s one true friend in the face we also gave ourselves a big black eye for all to see. The keepers of the siege who insist that Israel has no real friends in the world are clearly intent on making that a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The moral rot within the Jewish community has reached an intolerable level. Bernie Madoff was just icing on the cake. From the inhuman working conditions at the country’s largest kosher meatpacker to the sexual abuse of students at yeshivas in Brookline, to the predatory practices of Goldman-Sachs in Greece and everywhere else in the world, the stench rises to high heaven. If we were trying to validate every anti-Semitic stereotype in the book, the Jews of this generation could not be doing a better job.
How did it come to this?